Chevrolet Malibu Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
09 Malibu, 2.4L Engine, 6T40 Transmission, LT Package - Retired Fleet Vehicle
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've been trying to pin this down precisely for a couple of days with little success.
Vehicle is an '09 Malibu L-4, 2.4L engine with MH8 transmission, LT package (with fleet adjustments)

I'm seeing some contradictory information out there, ranging from 50-80k, with one source discovered early this morning reporting 250k(??). Other sources (not chevy) state 40-100k. Does anyone know when the chains start to fail? Will I be able to catch it before catastrophic failure by means of error codes due to stretching? Is there a way I can physically check this without a total breakdown?

The only real 'comprehensive' exposition I've found is from a gentleman who made a post on another forum back in 2011-2012 (Model '07). His chain failed at 60k miles, catastrophic failure. It appears that many of his statements are based on supposition and grievance, not much help. For all he wrote, there isn't much in the way of actual data, just a litany of complaints and fire-and-brimstone ranting about Chevy. A few statements he made, which may or may not be factual:
The timing chain stretched, allowing the timing to skip one-to-two teeth.
Chevy refused to service it under warranty (no reason given)
The skip occurred around the 55k mile mark, but he continued to ignore it and drive it with incorrect timing (allegedly)
The final failure was at 59k~, claims this destroyed his engine, 'nearly killed [him]' and Chevy still refused to accept liability, leaving him with a car that he still had to pay off... and etc. The entire account is suspect, but still gives me pause. If failure occurred that early, I can only assume the chain was defective.

I have found -nothing- regarding other cases of premature, catastrophic failure. Just accounts of people being told by dealers that around the 80k mark it was due for replacement, but offered no information of substance to back it up.

If Chevy has an official stance / lifespan, I cannot find it.

Any input that you can provide would be much appreciated. How long did your chain last, is it still going, etc. I've never had a chain fail, but I'm admittedly nervous now. I've read over a locked posted from 2017 on the forum, but there's not a conclusive "this is when you need to replace it" statement. Am I better off replacing it now, or should I wait until it fails?

Cheers, sorry for the long post for such a simple question...
 

·
Administrator
2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
Joined
·
19,638 Posts
You could just as easily assume that little or no maintenance was ever done, which would accelerate wear.

Was his a 2007 model?
 

·
Registered
09 Malibu, 2.4L Engine, 6T40 Transmission, LT Package - Retired Fleet Vehicle
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You could just as easily assume that little or no maintenance was ever done, which would accelerate wear.

Was his a 2007 model?
Yes indeed. His was 2007.

I haven't found much info on the lifespan yet, but when I have my valve cover off I did play with the chain a bit. It does seem to be slightly stretched, but the play between individual links is barely noticeable. I'll make a point to service it later.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,477 Posts
My old '09 2.4 'bu bought with 75k miles on it, was a fleet car but fleet mgr. monitored oil life by OnStar so they got regular oil changes. Was my wife's jobs Co. fleet.
I took it to 190k miles and sold it running great to a friend. I always changed it's oil by the OLM with WM full synth. oil.
Never touched anything on the motor other than plugs, a MAF sensor and a purge valve. Trans. serviced every 40k miles.
And the right pedal saw the carpet on a regular basis.
It's all about changing oil when it comes to timing chains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: campb292

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,197 Posts
In my opinion, the chain, guides and tensioner are either made correctly or not. If they are defective, no amount of frequent oil changes will save them. If they are good, only reasonable oil changes are necessary. My 06 2.2 litre went 231,000 miles with relatively few oil changes. Running fine when it was lost to an accident.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top